Report of Colonel John L. Otis, 10th Connecticut, of operations October 7, 18641
HEAD-QUARTERS 10TH REG’T CONN. VOLS.,
Near Richmond, Va., Oct. 8th, 1864.
Lieut. Benjamin Wright,
A. A. A. General.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my regiment in the affair of yesterday.
At 8 1/2 A. M. I received orders from Colonel Plaisted, commanding Brigade, to move my regiment down the New Market road as fast as possible without taking a double quick. I marched immediately, and when between the Varina road and Four Mile Creek Church, received orders to move in line of battle across the open field at the left of the road, throwing out a strong line of skirmishers to the right and front. I moved in this order until about half a mile from the main road, and was then ordered to halt my command, and form it en echelon at about forty paces in rear of the 100th New York Volunteers.
My regiment, at this time, formed the extreme right of the line, my skirmishers extending a quarter of a mile to the right, and well refused to protect our flank.
After remaining in this position half an hour, my command was moved by the left flank and formed between the 24th Massachusetts
The skirmishers in our front came in on the run, without making the least resistance, and the regiment on our right following the example, broke and ran in confusion, not an officer or man remaining on the field. The enemy’s line of battle overlapped us considerably on our right, but taking advantage of the confusion into which his line had been thrown, in penetrating the thick woods in our front, I immediately ordered an attack, and drove him from the woods, before his forces could be got in position to deliver an effective fire. The enemy made two more feeble attempts to reform his line, and advance against us, but was finally compelled to fall back in confusion, leaving one officer and six men dead on the field, and two severely wounded. We took three prisoners, representing the 1st [SOPO: Hagood’s] and 5th South Carolina and 34th Alabama regiments [SOPO Editor’s Note: The 34th Alabama was in the Atlanta Campaign, was Otis referring to the 44th Alabama or some other Alabama regiment in First Corps, ANV?], showing that a portion, at least, of each of those regiments was opposed to us.
I make no comments on the conduct of my command, as the entire affair occurred under the observation of the Colonel commanding the Brigade.
My loss was two killed and seven wounded.
Your obedient servant,
J. L. OTIS,
Col. Commanding the Reg’t.
- Annual Report of the Adjutant-General of the State of Connecticut, for the Year Ending March 31, 1865 (New Haven: Carrington, Hotchkiss & Co., State Printers, 1865), pp. 230–231 ↩